I’m going to add a bit more to Bert’s discussion. Through the efforts of Dr. Eric Wiseman of Urban Forestry at Virginia Tech, we have a
Utility Line Arboretum (ULA). Modeled after Dr. Bonnie Appleton’s original ULA for Virginia at the Hampton Roads research station, Eric’s includes many woody taxa suitable for planting in the vicinity of power lines (see a nice list of Bonnie’s favorite power-line-friendly taxa here).
Eric came to me with his plan in 2006 and we found some space in our Hahn Horticulture Garden to get it going. Funding came through from both the Virginia Department of Forestry and the USDA. He’s now up to 50+ specimens, including a “no-no” tree for a demonstration of relative size. The Urban Forestry Club students maintain the site and Eric uses the ULA for both education and outreach. Our hort garden visitors are free to wander through the well-labeled display. Interesting story: obviously, this would be more effective with a faux power line for scale, like Bonnie has at Hampton Roads. Our campus architect said “heck no.” Apparently Virginia Tech has gone to great lengths and expense to get all power lines/utilities below ground. And the ULA is adjacent to the much-visited baseball field.
That’s Eric on the right, demonstrating proper planting techniques.
Our Horticulture department has a great relationship with Forestry; especially the Urban Forestry section. Their students take our Landscape Establishment and Urban Horticulture courses and we encourage our landscape contracting students to take Arboriculture. Several are minoring in Urban Forestry (or vice-versa). Just thought I’d share a nice success story – one that should make Bert’s maligned arborists happy!